octet rule

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octet rule

  1. (chemistry) A rule stating that atoms lose, gain, or share electrons in order to have a full valence shell of 8 electrons. (Hydrogen is excluded because it can hold a maximum of 2 electrons in its valence shell.)
  2. (chemistry) The statement that when atoms combine to form molecules they generally each lose, gain, or share valence electrons until they attain or share eight; also called [Lewis rule of eight]